Hensley Settlement Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"This hike at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park climbs Cumberland Mountain on the old Chadwell Gap Trail to reach a preserved mountaintop community. Once the home of Sherman Hensley and his descendants, the remote inhabitation existed in isolation for five decades. Today, a strenuous 2,000-foot climb leads to the secluded and gorgeous locale where two dozen buildings, from homes to the schoolhouse to outbuildings, await your visit. It is truly a fascinating trip back in time.
The Hensley Settlement protects and preserves lifeways long abandoned in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. This former community is set 3,300 feet high in a perched mountaintop valley, where the headwaters of Shillalah Creek fl ow between Brushy Mountain to the north and Cumberland Mountain to the south. It remains a remote and scenic spot, the place where Sherman Hensley, back in 1904, decided to retreat from the lower reaches of Harlan County Kentucky and make his home in the back of beyond here along the Kentucky-Virginia state line."